The show put forth a solid effort, but it felt like a house constructed without a foundation. Considering how miraculously affecting much of the Grey Gardens music was, I expected at least one song to make me feel something. Instead, I felt less than I do while watching episodes from season 2 of New Girl. And that shouldn’t be close to the case for a show about a woman, mother, wife in the 1950s dealing with her homosexual, philandering husband and her own surprising romantic feelings for her black gardener. I know! It’s all there, waiting to be interpreted and transcended, and yet the opportunity was squandered. This show deals with pretty much the most serious dramatic ploys possible – all of them! – yet doesn’t deliver emotionally. There has to be a really big disconnect among the creators for something like that to happen.
The songs need to be rewritten, plain and simple. The book needs editing too, as I saw way too much of Cathy’s (O’Hara) husband’s office, and not enough of Cathy’s best friend’s seeming understanding yet complete and utter disapproval. I also didn’t understand the casting of Steve Pasquale as the husband. Maybe it was because I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Diction, people!
I didn’t actively dislike the show, but I didn’t actively feel anything, which is a huge problem. Plays happen up on that stage in order to make you, the audience, feel something, and I felt nothing. I just wanted to badly for it to be the event I was hoping for. With any luck, severe changes will be made and the show will be entirely transformed when (if) it goes to Broadway. I sincerely hope this happens, because everyone involved deserves better.